Friday, June 03, 2011

Catching Up Wiht the Long Island Meadery

I first wrote about the Long Island Meadery in October of 2005. It was relatively new back in the day. Today it is a mature, thriving business. And it's owner, Paul Holm is a ubiquitous presence on the wine festival circuit.

The Long Island Meadery is a licensed NYS winery that specializes in producing honey wines and meads. Holm, a former 20-year Long Island Railroad veteran, became a maker of mead due to the difficulty in locating a mead to his liking. The production rate increased over the next few years with demand at SCA events, private parties and weddings as well.

Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of honey as its primary sugar source and is often referred to as honey wine. Being made from honey, one would naturally expect it to be very sweet and although it usually is, it can actually range from dry to very sweet. Mead is usually still, though it can be made sparkling and can range from a mild low alcoholic content up to very high.

Holm has focused on dry and semi-sweet wines only. Nothing sick and syrupy sweet here. The wines are meant to go with salads, fish, and light meats, or just for sipping. He has also mixed his mead with some fruits, to add more complex flavors to his overall line. The results are something wonderful.

Mead can be produced in many variations including a plain honey wine (traditional - honey only), flavored with fruit (melomel), spices (metheglin), vegetables, or any combination of ingredients limited only by the imagination of the wine maker and the resources he has at hand.

Here's three I recently retried:

Traditional Mead (Clover)
Golden yellow in color, notes of lychee, clover, hints of orange blossom, honeysuckle, golden raisin and green tea come through. It's a medium-bodied white wine, that's bright and clean. This wine pairs very well with spicy foods (Thai, Chinese, Mexican), poultry, and pork. Residual Sugar: 8%

Blueberry Mead
Bluish-red in color, yet you can see through it, with notes of berry, blueberry, grape, muscat and a hint of floral in the bouquet. Medium bodied and complex, wih blueberries, red currant, and vanilla on the palate - but balanced ith just enough acids to make it not cloying. Great with barbecue, Mexican, hamburgers and sausages, etc. Great picnic or backyard wine. Residual Sugar: 7%

Pineapple Mead
Light yellow in color, notes of pineapple and honey on the nose. Fabulous nose!!!Clear, crisp, clean and light bodied. Refreshing. Pair with Hawaiian, Japanese, or Thai dishes. Should be great with barbecue, grilled poultry, and cheeses.
Residual Sugar: 5%

When I first met Paul, he was just starting out. Now I see him everywhere. If you don't see his stand at a festival - which is impossible since they seem to be at all the big events - then you can order his meads online at their website or go for a tasting at the meadery. Tremendous suff.

1347 Lincoln Av Suite 11
Holbrook NY 11741
Phone- 631-285-7469
Fax- 631-472-7310